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Belize enhances regional security and partnerships through participation in Tradewinds 23 exercise

Posted: Wednesday, August 2, 2023. 7:33 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: 21 countries gathered in Georgetown, Guyana on July 27, 2023, for the closing ceremony of Tradewinds 23. Belize’s critical contribution to the exercise stood out among the participating nations, emphasizing its role in strengthening security and fostering partnerships within the region.

Tradewinds 23 was a two-week multinational exercise with over 1,500 participants from the US military, civilians, and law enforcement from partner nations, reflecting Belize’s broader goals in international collaboration, combating transnational crime, and promoting human rights.

The collective initiative included various training scenarios involving security forces from partner nations. These included jungle warfare, counter-trafficking operations, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and cybersecurity. The focus on digital defense underscored the significance of contemporary security concerns.

In Guyana, the exercises allowed participating militaries to bolster maritime skills, exchange best practices, and enhance capabilities against evolving challenges such as climate change, irregular migration, and cybercrime.

Major Jaime Castillo of the Guyana Defense Force emphasized the importance of international cooperation, articulating that the collective effort creates a “better sum of our parts.”

US Army General Laura J. Richardson, commander of SOUTHCOM, acknowledged the complexity and success of this year’s exercise, marking Tradewinds 23 as a significant milestone in regional collaboration and military interoperability.

Brigadier General Omar Khan, GDF Chief of Staff, summarized the sentiment: “We are grateful for this opportunity to train, learn new skills, and make new friends.”

Participating nations included Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominica, the United States, France, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

 

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